Lawmaker looks to make New Mexico’s thrill-ride industry safer


SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – One lawmaker wants to make the amusement and thrill ride industry in New Mexico safer by proposing more oversight.

This is not just about places like Cliff’s or the State Fair. It is also about things like zip lines and rock climbing walls.

Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert from Corrales is sponsoring the bill.

There is already a law called the “Carnival Ride Insurance Act” in New Mexico, but the representative does not think it’s enough to keep riders and thrill-seekers safe. Her bill drastically revamps the law for greater oversight.

It expands the definition of rides to include zip lining, bounce house facilities and rock climbing walls.

It would require owners and operators to have rides and devices thoroughly inspected at national standards.

They would also have to submit an application with detailed information, have insurance, pay a certification fee and post a sticker of certification on the ride.

“If I’m taking my little niece or nephew to the carnival, and put them on the little ferris wheel, that I should have to worry about whether or not they’re safe,” Rep. Powdrell-Culbert said.

Her bill also says if a ride isn’t in compliance with the law, the owner could be fined up to $1,000 a day, per ride.

One of the biggest changes the bill would bring is requiring ride inspectors to be approved by the state.

The last time a lawmaker sought more oversight in the amusement ride industry was in 1999. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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